Joey Frendo’s Bound For Heartache

By Brian Rock

Red dirt honky-tonker, Joey Frendo is bound to make his mark on his debut album, Bound For Heartache. Recently relocated to Oklahoma from Michigan, Frendo lets his new red dirt surroundings wash over him and his music as he explores love, loss and loneliness.

“Get What You Get,” leads off the album with that classic Red Dirt combination of honky-tonk and Americana rhythms. Singing, “You get what you get and you don’t throw no fit. Sometimes you wind up with the short end of the stick;” Frendo sings a mantra of resigned acceptance. He even adds, “Failing hurts less every day. Had so much dust in my mouth, I kind of don’t mind the taste.” A lively melody and flourishes of Hammond organ belie the pessimistic lyrics. Frendo’s everyman voice adds a world-weary touch that’s part Charley Crocket and part Jack ingram.

Finding the gray cloud behind every silver lining, Frendo shares more tales of woe. “Sad State of Affairs,” adds fiddle and pedal steel to the honky-tonk rhythms as he contemplates his current dismal state of being. “Building On Quicksand,” finds Frendo unable to learn from his mistakes as he keeps repeating them to the accompaniment of weepy pedal steel. “Fool Hearted Woman,” dares to show a glimmer of optimism as he seeks a woman to love him even though his “bills are hardly ever paid on time and the dates are always cheap.” But even if he can’t find that kind of woman, “Nothing Wrong With Silver,” sees Frendo making peace with settling for less than his ultimate goal.

But Frendo really pours out the heartache on his ballads. “Wild Pilots,” is a tender, yet melancholy tale of walking out on a relationship on the decline. Singing, “Well, there’s lovin’ and there’s leavin’; I’m not much for breaking even;” he chooses being alone over being in a passionless relationship. “Leavin’ Eden,” finds Frendo on the run from the law for a crime he may or may not have committed. “High and Tight,” captures the feel of The Band’s “Music From Big Pink” with somber Hammond organ chords as he laments, “no matter where I go, bad luck won’t ever let me be.” He doesn’t fare any better on “Nebraska Rain,” as he moans, “When the cards came down, I went belly up.” But the depths of his grief really pour out on the dark and brooding, “Old Fashioned Country Singer.” Paying tribute to the original purveyor of Lovesick Blues, Frendo sings, “As sure as Jesus died on the cross, Hank Williams died in the back of his car so loners like me could sit at this bar and maybe drink for free if you can play a few chords and sing.” Shining a dim spotlight on traveling troubadours who never make the big time, he sings, “I’m a low down, worn out old fashioned country singer, as likely to woo you as rob you blind… and I wouldn’t change if I could.” Covering the range of emotions from sadness to sorrow, Joey Frendo somehow manages to make feeling bad sound really good.  |  fb  |  listen

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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